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African Commission: Alert to NGO Forum and 69th ordinary session

The 69th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights will be held online, from 15 November to 5 December 2021. The African Commission session will be preceded by the NGO Forum, which will be held online on 10, 11 and 12 November 2021.

What will happen during the NGO Forum and 69th ordinary session of the African Commission?

The NGO Forum

The Forum on the Participation of NGOs in the Ordinary Sessions of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Commission), also known as the ‘NGO Forum’, is an advocacy platform coordinated by the African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies (ACDHRS) to promote advocacy, lobbying and networking among and between human rights NGOs, for the promotion and protection of human rights in Africa. The NGO Forum shares updates on the human rights situation in Africa by the African and international NGOs community with a view of identifying responses as well as adopting strategies towards the promotion and protection of human rights in the continent.

Same as the last session, this session will be hosted online and will be framed around the theme “40th anniversary of the adoption of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights”.

The general content of the Forum will cover these main thematic areas namely:

  • The Situation of Human Rights and democracy in Africa, with a focus on the 40th anniversary of the adoption of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
  • State of the State reports to be examined during the 69th session
  • Impact of civil, political, economic and cultural rights on the response to COVID-19 pandemic
  • The Situation of CSOs and their engagement with the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, specially on women’s rights, child marriage and FGM.
  • Regional and continental access to justice in Africa: 40 years of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights
  • Networking for Human Rights in Africa, on the Launching of the Lusophone Human Rights Defenders Network (LHRDN)
  • Special Interest Group Discussions, which will be around these three questions:
    • What successes have been registered during the course of your work in the implementation of the African Charter and other human rights instruments?
    • What were the challenges experienced and how did you mitigate the said challenges?
    • What recommendations would you propose for the next 40 years for the implementation of the African Charter and other human rights related instruments as we strive towards shaping the Africa we want?

Register for the NGO Forum here.

 

The 69th ordinary session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights

Panels and Launches (Item 4 cont’d)

  • Panel on the perspectives of the AU theme of 2021 as far as human rights are concerned, 16 November, 11:15am to 12:30pm
  • Panel discussion on the Study of the Working Group on Extractive Industries/Launch of the Newsletter of the Working Group, 16 November, 12:30pm to 13:45pm
  • Advocacy for the ratification of the Protocol on the Rights of Older Persons and the Protocol on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, 17 November, 11:15am to 12:30pm
  • Panel on the situation of human rights defenders in exile, 18 November, 11:45am to 12:45pm
  • Assessment of the implementation of the Global Compact on Migration by key actors in Africa, 18 November, 12:45pm to 14:00pm
  • Panel of CPTA on compilation of Jurisprudence relative to Article 5 of the Charter, 21 November, 15:00pm to 16:30pm
  • Launch of Newsletter 15 on Police and Human Rights in Africa, 22 November, 9:00am to 9:45am.
  • Death Penalty in Africa and States’ Commitments, 25 November, 10:00am to 11:15am

 

State periodic Reports (Item 8)

During this session, pursuant to Article 62 of the African Charter and State Parties obligation to report every two years on the legislative or other measures taken with a view to giving effect to the rights and freedoms recognized and guaranteed by the Charter, three countries will be reviewed:

  • Benin’s review will be based on its combined 6th to 10th reports, covering the period 2009-2018 and submitted to the ACHPR in August 2020 (19 November 11:15 am to 13:30pm)
  • Kenya’s review will be based in its combined 12th to 13th reports, covering the period 2015-2020 and submitted to the ACHPR in March 2021 (21 November, 14:00pm to 15:00pm)
  • Namibia’s review will be based on its 7th report, covering the period 2015-2019 and submitted to the ACHPR in February 2021 (23 November, 11:15am to 13:30pm)
  • Eswatini’s review will be based on its combined 1st to 9th reports, covering the period 2001-2020 and submitted to the ACHPR in March 2021 (24 November, 11:15am to 13:30pm)

 

Activity reports (Item 5)

During every session, special mechanisms from the African Commission present their activity report. These reports catalogue the activities and initiatives undertaken by each mechanism inter-sessionally:

  • Chairperson &; Chairperson of the Working Group on Extractive Industries, Environment and Human Rights Violations in Africa
  • Vice-Chairperson & Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders in Africa and Focal Point On Reprisals In Africa
  • Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Women in Africa
  • Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa
  • Special Rapporteur on Prisons, Conditions of Detention and Policing in Africa
  • Special Rapporteur on Refugees, Asylum Seekers, Internally Displaced Persons and Migrants in Africa
  • Chairperson of the Working Group on the Rights of Older Persons and People with Disabilities in Africa
  • Chairperson of the Working Group on Death Penalty and Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Killings in Africa
  • Chairperson of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture in Africa;
  • Chairperson of the Committee on the Protection of the Rights of People Living with HIV and those at Risk, Vulnerable to and Affected by HIV
  • Chairperson of the Working Group on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in Africa
  • Chairperson of the Working Group on Communication

For the full programme, click here.

 

What will ISHR do during this session?

During this session, ISHR will make several statements under Items 3 and 7:

  • The situation of human rights in Africa (item 3)
  • Activity reports (item 7)
  • Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders and Focal Point on Reprisals in Africa
  • Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Women in Africa
  • Working Group on Extractive Industries, Environment and Human Rights Violations

 

What advocacy opportunities does the Commission offer?

The situation of human rights in Africa

Under Item 3, civil society organisations with observer status have the possibility to make a statement highlighting specific issues relating to the human rights enshrined in the African Charter. It can be used to call the attention of the Commission on a specific issue or even update the Commission on an issue previously brought to its attention.

Country reviews

Under article 62 of the African Charter, States are obliged to submit a report every two years on the legislative or other measures taken with a view to giving effect to the rights and freedoms recognised and guaranteed by the present Charter. During this process, civil society organisations also have the possibility to submit shadow reports ahead of the session during which countries will be reviewed in order to inform the Commission’s recommendations and provides share advices to a specific State.

Country and Special Rapporteurs mandates

  • Every Commissioners has under its mandate 5 countries in Africa. During the session, civil society organisations have the opportunity to meet with the Commissioner which has their country under its mandate. It is important to seize this moment to update the mandate on the issues specific to your country and more specifically call his attention to an issue you want him to raise with the State directly or during the session.
  • All year long it is recommended to civil society to share information with Special Rapporteurs. During sessions, civil society organisations can make statements during the presentation of each Commissioners, including Special Rapporteurs, activity reports highlighting important issues of interest.

 

How can you follow the session?

15 November 2021 – 25 November 2021 – Public Session

https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Q3KvMs6YTwe_bLPtefEz1A  

05 December 2021 – Closing Ceremony (Public Session)

https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Q3KvMs6YTwe_bLPtefEz1A  

The Ordinary Session will be live streamed on:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgwJmiMTr59J0jYZJJtfzuw

 

ISHR will monitor and report on key developments at the 69th ordinary session of the African Commission. Follow us on Twitter at @ISHRglobal, @ISHR_fr and at #ACHPR69. Our staff can also be followed @Adelaide_ISHR, @StephanieWamba,

 

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